Castillo de Mendoza is a new star of Rioja. For more than a century the Mendoza family made wines solely for family and friends, in a small, ancient cellar in the castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. Their vineyards are in the prestigious Rioja Alta sub-region, near the Sierra Cantabria mountains, benefitting from high diurnal variation and well-drained limestone marl soils, supporting freshness and depth in the wines.
In 1994, the family restored an old distillery building to start a new winery: Bodegas Castillo de Mendoza with cellars carved out of the local rock. This estate was one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in Rioja, beginning down this path in 2000. Vines are tended by hand and the yields low. The wines are exceptional, and several are held back in the deep cellars for release only when they are at their very peak.